Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Alcohol Abuse

  • Nathan EwigmanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2107


Alcoholism; Binge drinking; Excessive alcohol use

Short Description or Definition

Alcohol abuse refers to a “maladaptive pattern of alcohol [use] leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.” The DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders as applied to alcohol abuse are presented below.

DSM-5 Criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder

  1. 1.
    A minimum of 2–3 criteria is required for a mild substance use disorder diagnosis, while 4–5 is moderate and 6–7 is severe (APA 2013):
    • Taking alcohol in larger amounts and for longer than intended

    • Wanting to cut down or quit but not being able to do it

    • Spending a lot of time obtaining alcohol

    • Craving or a strong desire to use alcohol

    • Repeatedly unable to carry out major obligations at work, school, or home due to alcohol use

    • Continued use despite persistent or recurring social or interpersonal problems caused or made worse by alcohol use

    • Stopping or reducing important social, occupational, or recreational activities due to alcohol use

    • Recur...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG (outside the USA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mental Health Service LineSan Francisco VA Health Care SystemSan FranciscoUSA